I’ve just recently received an email about a site that “catalogs and exhibits the world’s largest collection of space flown US $2 bills, spanning the entirety of manned US spaceflight”. Its kind of a different news post for the RealBanknotes.com blog, but it is kind of neat to read about this:
Astronauts, ground support crews, and even a few cosmonauts, have sometimes carried or sent U.S. $2 bills into the deep, black void of space during many historic missions that span manned spaceflight history.
Visit the Jefferson Space Museum website to read more and take a look at some of the bills.
I have recently been contacted by a certain Allan Tohv, who specializes in Estonian paper money. Mr. Tohv is both a member of IBNS and an author, and he has recently written and published a book on the history of Estonian paper money. The book is entitled “Coins and Paper Money of the Republic of Estonia 1991-2010″. The book is 95 pages long, and is available in both hard cover or handmade leather bound versions. The book includes more than 250 colour reproductions and is almost sold out — there are only few copies left. The price is 120 USD + postage. For more information contact Mr. Allan Tohv: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As is fit when you do start a banknote collection, quite soon you are seeing your first inflation notes .. for me it started with the German 1923 inflation notes ..
Those notes were changed so frequently that they were only printed on one side !
Nowadays probably the most well known is the 100 Trillion dollars note from Zimbabwe .. Always nice to show it to people to expose what happens when the money system goes mad ..
more interesting is how do you live in a place with such an inflation. I recently stumbled on a few pictures showing life in Zimbabwe around 2008
You can find more pictures like this at http://www.myinterestingfiles.com/2008/09/money-in-zimbabwe.html
Strangely enough, it seems that it is not the highest denomination for a banknote . Seems like the winner is a banknote from the 1946 inflation in Hungary.
This banknote (pick 137) has a value of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Pengo , but the value is not written with zeros.
It was never issued and thus is quite rare (and expensive) to buy. And because of this rarity, it also seems that there are quite a few fake of this one in the market
It was not always the case that it was rare as can be seen in this picture
One of the reasons that I love African banknotes is because of the wildlife featured on them. In this same line of thought, I have noticed a funny combination on banknotes from the Belgian Congo (and Rwanda-Burundi too, I think): the elephant and the hippopotamus. The back of p13B is a perfect example of this. While the front of the note features a seated woman with child and a beehive at left, the back of the bill features an elephant and hippo at center.
France has one banknote in particular, which sums up its feeling regarding the French versus the subjects of its French empire. I have always absolutely loved this note because of the quite direct connotation, and because the note itself is quite beautiful. I am talking about p103, which features an allegory of a white, blonde France dressed in white standing over a black man, an asian man, and a middle-eastern man. Ofcourse, this banknote was put into circulation during the time when France controlled areas of west Africa, Indo-China, and others. Can’t think of any middle-eastern country that it colonized, but that could be simply because it is 2 am :)
This banknote sells for around $100 in VF condition, and because of a missing corner (insignificant in my eyes) I managed to get this banknote for $35. It was a steal of a deal in my eyes. This banknote will be highly valued in the future — much more-so than now. Buy it if you can afford it. Its beautiful, and a solid investment.
Notes were first issued in Portugal in 1797 because of poor economic conditions brought about by the war between Spain and France. Many of these notes were officially repaired and handstamped on the back (and sometimes on the face) with various dates and endorsements as they continued to circulate. Most are found in worn condition. Variations of the notes include partially or fully printed year dates both in numerals and words, also printed date altered to a later date by hand. These notes are, in my opinion beautiful. I remember one of the first ones I bought … it came repaired and since I am in the habit of removing repair materials from my collection, I decided to pick off the paper with which the note had been repaired. Little did I know that these repairs were done during that same era, and that not much would remain of my note once I had removed the repairs. Oops. Anyhow, these notes start at $10 on eBay, and I have been lucky enough to purchase six for under $90, which is a triumphant thing. These are not valuated in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, but I love them because they are super old — the only thing that rivals them is the French ‘assignat’ series, which are quite ugly in my eyes. Here’s a sample of what I got (for $14.85):
I was quite curious about this whole ‘German Vampire Banknote’ thing, so I decided to do some research. I found that picks 70, 71, and 72, which feature a male portrait by Albrecht Durer are all considered to be German Vampire Banknotes. When looking at the picture some people see a vampire sucking on the neck of the young man. This has been interpreted by some as a representation of the French sucking the blood of the Germans through the reparations of World War I. I have tried to show this in the image below:
For a while I have come across the term ‘Short Snorter’ and have wondered what it meant. However, by the time I got to a computer I had forgotten this curiosity, until now.
A ‘Short Snorter’, most commonly is a banknote that has been signed by a soldier fighting in the area. As the definition implies, short snorters are generally from war zones, and war eras, such as World War II. Here is something that I found:
A short snorter is a banknote which was signed by various persons traveling together or
meeting up at different events and records who was met. The tradition was started by bush
pilots in Alaska in the 1920′s and subsequently spread through the growth of military and
commercial aviation. If you signed a short snorter and that person could not produce it upon
request, they owed you a dollar or a drink (a “short snort”, aviation and alcohol do not mix!).
Here is an example:
When I look for banknotes that are to serve as good investments there are a few criteria that I look for: condition, scarcity, and design, for example. But I also take a look at a couple of factors that have a solid impact on investments, and which are particularly relevant to banknotes such as the 1945 issue of Ethiopian dollars featuring Emperor Haile Selassie: these two traits are origin and purchase price. Purchase price is self explanatory: if the banknote can be bought cheap it is a small investment at present. But the ‘origin’ factor baffles some collectors, or at least it is a forgotten constituent of appraising investments.
Old African banknotes are the epiphany of this origin factor for me. This is because even modern African banknotes are treated poorly in their country of origin. Africans are famous for stuffing their shorts, bras, and mattresses with paper money, and have little respect for its condition. This means that paper money from Africa has a shorter lifespan, and is seldom found in EF+ condition, except where it has been purchased specifically for the purpose of collections and investments.
And this is why I am amazed to see Ethiopian banknotes from 1945 in VF condition selling for peanuts on eBay. Don’t get me wrong … these banknotes are not in great abundance, though they are not rare either. However, to pick one up for around $5 USD is a sound investment in my eyes. Recently I have bought Ethiopia’s $1 from 1945 for $5.50. Its not a pretty note, but it is old, in good condition, from an African country, and cheap. Perfect! Other denominations can be found readily, and relatively cheap.
Take from this what you will, but remember that this does not apply only to Ethiopian banknotes. There are other countries in Africa too! Oh yeah:
This article of interest in concerning paper money from Greece. In 1922 Greece issued an emergency issue of banknotes under the Law of 25.3.1922. Many National Bank notes in circulation were cut in half. The left half remained legal tender until 1927 at half face value. The right half was considered a compulsory loan, equally valued at half face value. So if you come across any half notes, this is not necessarily a sign of bad condition.
In the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money these notes are classified as p58-p63. Values are as follows:
p58 -> 5 Drachmai = 2.5 Drachmai
p59 -> 10 Drachmai = 5 Drachmai
p60 -> 25 Drachmai = 12.5 Drachmai
p61 -> 100 Drachmai = 50 Drachmai
p62 -> 500 Drachmai = 250 Drachmai
p63 -> 1000 Drachmai = 500 Drachmai
There was a second issue where notes were torn into 1/4 and 3/4 pieces, each piece redeemed at 1/4 and 3/4 of face value, respectively. These picks are p80–83.
p80 -> 50 Drachmai
p81 -> 100 Drachmai
p82 -> 500 Drachmai
p83 -> 1000 Drackmai
Unfortunately, it seems as these notes are discarded as ‘garbage’ and I was unable to find any images to show. Have an image to submit? email@example.com. Thanks.